The series’ Chief Animation Director and Character Designer, Naoyuki Onda, as well as Producer, Fuko Noda, attended Scotland Loves Anime this year for the screens of both films. Each time they answered some questions. As a result; we have the insiders’ view to share.
It’s also worth noting that anime expert Jonathan Clements chaired the Q&A sessions and did so very well. Due to his knowledge of the industry we were able to ask some very specific questions.
The TV series for Berserk ended abruptly – with the audience hanging, not knowing what happened next after an intense scene. Neither Naoyuki Onda nor Fuko Noda wanted to risk spoilers but after two days of careful questioning, we established that Berserk 3 will complete the Golden Era fully, timeline-wise, and actually edge a little into the next.
Does that mean there will be a Berserk Movie 4? Perhaps, tiny maybe, and only if the first three do very well.
One question was asked that no one could really answer; why spend the money to make three films that start from scratch with the Golden Age rather than just continue where the TV series left off?
The series uses a style of animation called “Hybrid” which, as the name suggests, blends CG render with hand-drawn – faces tended to be hand-drawn but thousands of charging horses in battle scenes made use of the computer.
The Hybrid processes were no short cut. It was very tough and quite a challenge. In fact, the technique was described as not very efficient. Typically movies might take 1,700 or so shots – Berserk took more like 4,500.
There was some debate as to whether Berserk was first to (successfully) use Hybrid. Many people think it was. The third movie was completed during the infamous earthquake and while blackouts were still occurring.
Originally the plan was to do just one film for the whole Golden Age. That plan did not last very long as it quickly became apparent that the long story would have to be sliced and diced. The decision was met without objection, just with caution, from the backers.
We know that designer Naoyuki Onda is not a fan of scouting for locations but after some prompting from Clements conceded that there may be some elements of Edinburgh that may make it into his future projects.
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